The 2015 VW Golf lineup of C-Class hatchbacks are all impressive including the Golf for everyday driving, Golf GTi for fast driving, e-Golf for the environmentally conscious and a new high performance four-door Golf R.
For 2015 and rounding out the Golf lineup is the (also new) Golf Sportwagen which has replaced the previous – pretty decent and well regarded – Jetta Sportwagen giving the Golf line a solid and versatile station wagon people hauler.
The Golf Sportwagen model offers two power plant options for consumers. They include the 1.8L TSI turbocharged direct-injected gasoline engine or the 2.0L turbocharged direct-injected diesel engine. Prices for the several model combinations range from $21,395 to $31,445.
The TSI engine can be mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission in the base model. Only the automatic is available in the two higher trim levels. The TDI diesel engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or the six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission across all three trim levels.
The Golf Sportwagen TSI lineup is powered by the 1.8L four-cylinder power plant that generates 170 horsepower with 199 lb.-ft. of torque with automatic transmission and 184 lb.-ft with the manual gearbox.
The gasoline powered TSI offers the manual transmission 1.8T S manual at $21,395 or the automatic for $22,495. The 1.8T SE automatic is $26,995 and the premium 1.8T SEL automatic is $29,345.
The diesel TDI offers both manual and automatic in all models. The TDI S manual is $24,595 with the automatic at $25,695; TDI SE manual for $27,995 with automatic at $29,095; and the premium TDI SEL manual is $30,345 with automatic at $31,445.
The TSI is fuel economy rated up to 35 mpg highway and the TDI is rated at 42 mpg – when each are equipped with automatic transmissions.
Golf Sportwagen Features
The Golf Sportwagen is an efficient people and cargo hauler with room for five inside. The new Sportwagen is a bit wider and longer – but not as tall as the Jetta Sportwagen it replaces. With some styling changes giving it a more “station wagon” look, the interior volume has been increased by 2.6 cubic feet to 94.3 cubic feet.
Importantly, driver and passengers get more shoulder and headroom, but there is also more cargo space with 30.4 cubic feet behind the 60:40 split-seat second row and up to 66.5 cubic feet of cargo when the second row is folded down. A unique design for the hatchback now provides a lift-in height of just 24.8-inches and hatch opening of 40.6-inches.
Inside convenience and amenity features include subtle, but important, changes in the cockpit that include premium materials with things like leather touches, soft touch surfaces and accents in piano black. New driver-centric placement of controls include a new center stack angled to the driver with a very bright 5.8-inch touchscreen capacitive touch display. Other features available or standard include Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start, Fender Premium Audio System, Navigation, Dual Zone Climate Control, Ambient Lighting and very nice front comfort Sport Seats with 12-way driver adjust.
The Sportwagen features 15 to 18-inch wheels and tires (depending on model), rack and pinion electro-mechanical power-assisted brakes and front suspension with strut-type lower control arms, coil springs and telescopic dampers. Rear suspension is multi-link with coil springs and telescopic dampers on the TSI and torsion beam with coil springs and telescopic dampers in the rear. Electronic Stability Control, the three-channel ABS brakes with electronic brake pressure distribution and an Automatic Post-Collision Braking system are standard. Also standard on the Sportwagen is XDS Cross Differential System developed originally on the performance GTi that acts as an electronic substitute for the traditional mechanical limited-slip differential.
2015 Golf Sportwagen TSI SE
Our 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TSI SE model came equipped with the six-speed automatic and ran on 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires. It included automatic headlamps, fog lamps, and power foldable heated mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a power tilt and slide Panoramic Sunroof.
Other features included leatherette leather interior surfaces wraps and accents, heated front seats, cooled glove box, rear view camera, adjustable steering column and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The Fender Premium Audio system included AM/FM radio and CD player with MP3 Playback, SiriusXM, Bluetooth mobile connectivity and Media Device Interface.
One package was included on our test Golf Sportwagen TSI SE. The Driver Assistance Package added Front and Rear Park Distance Control and the Forward Collision Warning system for $695.
With delivery and handling, our test Golf Sportwagen TSI SE priced at $28,510.
There is just one other option item available for the Golf Sportwagen and we would have added it to our test vehicle if we were buying it. The Lighting Package ($995) adds Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) and ambient interior lighting.
Adding this option would have put our 2015 Golf Sportwagen TSI SE at just $29,205. .
At the end of a week behind the wheel, we think there is a whole lot of solid VW engineering and performance in this Golf Sportwagen station wagon with its roomy and comfortable ride and very easy drive for a very right price – under $30,000.
Sportwagen is Top Safety Pick+
The 2016 VW Golf Sportwagen (along with the Golf GTI and Jetta models) has been named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the highest rating available. A Top Safety Pick rating requires that the vehicle receives GOOD ratings in the Moderate Overlap Front, Side, Roof Strength, and Head Restraint and no less than an ACCEPTABLE rating in the Small Overlap Frontal test. To be considered a “+”, the vehicle must be available with a front crash prevention system – and achieve an ADVANCED or SUPERIOR rating for its performance when so equipped.
2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year
In addition to high marks for safety, earlier this year, Motor Trend Magazine named the Volkswagen Golf series lineup of versatile vehicles – collectively – their 2015 Motor Trend Car of the Year. They noted, and we agree, that the 2015 Golf lineup is an ‘exquisite execution’ of multiple vehicles in a segment that offers something for everyone (in a single model series) across a wide range of the consumer demographic.
As we reported then (see story referenced below), we loved the Golf R for its performance – and we love the new VW Golf Sportwagen TSI SE for its solid consumer value, a very good ride-and-drive plus pretty decent performance as well.